My friend Melissa had a post about this sort of thing, but her question was asked at the beginning of a class. Mine was asked in a job interview. I hate those kinds of questions, which is all the rage now in job interviewing. You go into a room with a panel of interviewers and they ask you questions like, “What strengths would you bring to the job?” Or “What are your weaknesses?” Or “If there is a problem with one of the employees, how would you handle the situation?” What situation? Exactly what did you have in mind? Was this person beating up on the customers or cussing them out or just not doing their job? The questions are so open ended it’s impossible to really know what the interviewer(s) is wanting to know. So I answer to the best of my ability, giving them some of what I think they WANT to hear, and some of the truth. Here’s hoping I gave them some of what they NEEDED to hear.

But the interview got me thinking. Jesus was walking along a road in Caesarea Philippi, and He turns to His disciples and asks a very simple question, “Who do men say I am?” That’s easy enough to answer. The disciples only had to be involved with the people they came in contact with and listen to what they were saying about Jesus. So they tell Jesus, “Some say John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” Is this what Jesus wanted to hear? Was this really a trick question? Was there more to it? No, He just wanted to know what people were saying about Him. And their answer revealed a lot about His ministry and how the people misunderstood what he was all about, and what changes He wanted to make in their lives.

But then He looked at His disciples and point blank asked, “But you, who do you say that I am?” Uh-oh. Now the pressure is on. Who do they believe he is? Is He who He says He is? Or have they misunderstood also? Of course, Peter steps forward and says, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God!” I’m not sure Peter really knew all that meant in that confession. Just a little further down in the Scriptures Jesus is telling the disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer and die, and Peter pipes up and says, “Oh no, Lord! This will never happen to You!” Then Jesus turns to Peter and says, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, because you’re not thinking about God’s concerns, but man’s.”

What about our own confession? Jesus looks at you and me and asks, “Who do YOU say that I am?” How do we answer? “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God!” OK, but what does that mean exactly? I heard an analogy once about faith. There is a great trapeze artist walking a tight rope across Niagara Falls. You know he is a great trapeze artist and know for a fact he can walk across the raging waters on that tiny rope. You have faith he can do it! But wait. He wants you to get in a small little wheelbarrow and he is going to push you across the falls, on that tiny rope! Would you do it? Would you now have the same kind of faith in this man’s ability as you did before?

Sometimes our confession of Jesus is the same thing. We claim that He is the Messiah, the Lord, the Son of the LIVING God. But allow Him to push us across the great falls of our lives in a small wheelbarrow on that tiny little rope? Nope, not so sure He can do it. I’ll take care of it myself. How? By staying on the safe, solid ground. I know He is good, but not that good. And if I’m in the wheelbarrow on the rope, I have absolutely NO control over what happens to me. And that scares me. I’m learning what it means to get in the wheelbarrow and enjoy the adventure; it’s so much more exciting than staying on the safe, solid ground. But I keep having Him turn back and wait till I catch my breath. Help me Jesus in my unbelief. May you have the faith to get into the wheelbarrow also.

His peace be on you.

Oh, and I’ll let you know if I get the job.